August 1, 20132 Comments

Ou Leili: China’s Wheelchair Bomber Shines Light on Injustice, Disability Rights

Ou Leili is a contributor at Ministry of Tofu. You can learn more about her on our About page. “I am festering away, paralyzed and over 100,000 yuan (US $16,303.60) in debt. Our family has suffered an unimaginable fate.” This declaration was translated from the now-deleted blog of Ji Zhongxing. Ji, a 34-year-old man from [...]

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July 30, 2013One Comment

Zheyan Ni: Chinese Box Office Hit Flaunts Wealth, Angers Communists

Zheyan Ni is a contributor at Ministry of Tofu. You can learn more about her on our About page. Tiny Times was released on June.27. It’s based on the director Guo Jingming’s  best-selling novel published in 2007. The movie portrays the urban lives of four college graduates in Shanghai, their friendship, relationships and careers. The movie’s [...]

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June 25, 2013No Comments

The “Diaosi” social class: presage of impending social changes in China

Outside China, people are buzzing about Peking pound, the hot money from China that drives up prices or drains supplies of a wide range of things from property to baby formula, from gold to oil, as if a sneeze from the rising Chinese middle class could truly freeze the entire world. But at home, what [...]

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January 28, 201314 Comments

It’s so simple, isn’t it? – An expat’s take on smog in Beijing

Chris Toepker is a contributor to Ministry of Tofu. He hails from the United States, has been living in greater China since 1990 and has recently relocated to Beijing. All too often, visitors to Beijing fret and cluck their tongues at the air pollution. While it certainly is awful, clearing the air is certainly no simple [...]

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December 27, 20125 Comments


“I’m sorry, but the lavender pillow is out of order, can you please choose another?” A classic mixture of over-the-top yet sincere customer service sprinkled with cultural “close enough-ness” to be charming. A soft knock on my hotel door reveals a smiling young man with my Chinese Herb Pillow as I think “what a crazy [...]

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October 25, 20122 Comments


A master’s graduate coming from rural China did not find an ideal job in the city and returned to his village to work on the farm. His father, who has been a peasant for his entire life, felt so humiliated and depressed by his son’s choice, or rather, lack of any, and attempted suicide. On [...]

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August 2, 201212 Comments

After Int’l Accusations of Swimmer Ye Shiwen, Guardian Readers Request Apology to Her

Readers of the Guardian Newspaper in the UK have expressed their desire on an online poll to see an apology from John Leonard, the American swimming coach, following his allegations that the performance of the Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, were ‘unbelievable’ and ‘disturbing’. An overwhelming 98% of netizens who visited the site stated that they [...]

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June 14, 20123 Comments

Chinese “Pancake people” – Scratching the surface of modernity

Note: Gil Hizi is Ministry of Tofu’s contributor. He is also the chief editor of website Thinking Chinese. Jianbing (煎饼), often translated to ‘Chinese pancake’, is one of the most celebrated snacks Northeast Chinese streets, and even foreigners tend to appreciate its greasy taste and its high calorie-per-money value. In recent years the jianbing is facing [...]

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May 5, 20122 Comments

Netizens discuss Chen Guangcheng’s “happy ending” and U.S. embassy’s role

After Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at a press conference that Chen Guangcheng could well apply to study abroad just as any other Chinese citizen can, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that says Chen has been offered a financial aid package by a U.S. university and is allowed to bring his wife and [...]

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May 4, 20125 Comments

Beijing’s bashing of U.S. government on activist Chen Guangcheng backlashes at home

Four major state-run newspapers in Beijing published strongly worded editorials on the same day, accusing the U.S. politicians of “clumsy antics” and using activist Chen Guangchang as a pawn against China. Beijing Daily: “Looking at U.S Politicans’ Clumsy Antics through Chen Guangcheng.” Beijing Times: “Chen Guangcheng Is A Newly Found Tool And Pawn of America; [...]

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April 27, 20122 Comments

Help yourself China – The rise of self-help culture and its unique Chinese features

Note: Gil Hizi is Ministry of Tofu’s contributor. He is also the chief editor of website Thinking Chinese. In the last few decades, self-help culture, in the form of advice books, accessible knowledge and popularized expertise is blooming in the Western world as well as in many developing countries. China is no exception. Commercialized medicine, [...]

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April 11, 201217 Comments

Sleepless on Weibo–the climax of Bo Xilai drama draws millions

Until last night, Bo Xilai is like Schrodinger’s cat thrown into a dark box with radioactive substance. All Chinese know the political career of Bo, a charismatic politician best known for his campaign of singing red songs and combating triads and a hopeful candidate for China’s top office, is over, but no one knows how [...]

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April 6, 2012One Comment

Marketing to China’s middle-class: Selling modernity, considering tradition

Note: Gil Hizi is Ministry of Tofu’s contributor. He is also the chief editor of website Thinking Chinese. The marketing of brands in China often faces tensions between modernity and tradition, foreign and local orientations or individualistic materialism and longstanding cultural values. Whether we are discussing foreign companies or local enterprises, in order to prosper in [...]

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March 25, 20124 Comments

Post-1970s, Post-1980s, Post-1990s –  The enhanced Chinese generation gap

Note: Gil Hizi is Ministry of Tofu’s contributor. He is also the chief editor of website Thinking Chinese. China is giving great attention to the sharp differences between the 70hou (Post-1970s, Chinese born between 1970 and 1979), 80hou (Post-1980s, Chinese born between 1980 and 1989) and 90hou (Post-1990s, Chinese born between 1990 and 1999), as [...]

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January 14, 201211 Comments

Extinction of the Tiger Mom and Rise of (Not So Little) Emperors

Last year, the article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” drew global attention to the “maternal ruthlessness” of Chinese moms, and ultimately popularized the term “Tiger Mom.” Now, almost exactly a year later, a new Times article “Tiger cubs on the prowl” by Mark Clifford pointed out the shift in these tiger cubs. (Read our story [...]

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December 16, 20119 Comments

Beijing’s suburban county to build a billion-dollar English-only European town

From Beijing News Miyun county, situated at northeast Beijing, is going to invest more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) on the construction of an English-speaking town as large as 60 hectares (165 acres) where no Chinese is allowed, according to county chief Wang Haichen. “It is a significant development project with the nature of [...]

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December 7, 201113 Comments

"Why we don’t want our children to go to school in the U.S.?"

Via M4.cn An article on magazine Jinglue, cited by website M4.cn, details the thoughts of two parents, an American father and Chinese mother, of why they chose to emigrate to China for a Chinese-style education for their child. Below are some of their reasons alongside my commentary. NOTE: Of course I will be commenting based [...]

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November 22, 201115 Comments

Netizens claim US has hidden plot to subvert China, citing Jon Huntsman in a Republican Primary Debate

Via Sina Weibo.   A video (seen above) of a recent Republican Primary Debate has been circling the net featuring Republican Presidential Candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, responding to what he would do about China as president. His quote is as follows: “…So what should we be doing? We should be [...]

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October 7, 20112 Comments

Death of Steve Jobs: Assorted Reactions

Apart from the common words of commemoration and condolences that’s perhaps shared throughout the globe, here are some more interesting ones, many of which show a more standoffish attitude. First, a hot topic that was quickly passed around on Weibo was about a remark made by a guy called Pan Shiyi, aka “China’s most visible [...]

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September 8, 20112 Comments

Video: Funeral held for cows reflects Chinese farmers’ woes

From Dahe Daily Elegiac couplets were written and hung; a sacrificial alter was set up; condolences were expressed; eulogies were pronounced; Buddhist monks were invited to chant prayers…For those who are wondering for whom was such a grand funeral and memorial service held, the answer is beyond their expectation: cows. A video of a funeral [...]

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